Monday Nitro – November 22, 1999: Calm And Rational?
Date: November 22, 1999
Location: Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
We’re past Mayhem now and Bret Hart is the new WCW World Champion, actually winning the title mostly clean over Chris Benoit in the Sharpshooter. The next big night for the company is about a month away at Starrcade, meaning it’s time to see what Russo considers a big idea. This would be different than a small match with only four run-ins, a ref bump and a weapon being used. Let’s get to it.
Jeff Jarrett is in the back and ranting about how he’s the chosen one.
Here’s Bret to open things up with a very shiny title. He’s finally here after a long two years but it was all worth it and this title is for his father Stu. As for things around here, what happened to Goldberg hasn’t been cool so Bret thinks he should give Goldberg a title shot at Starrcade. Cue the Outsiders with Hall mocking everything Bret says, as you would expect him to.
Maybe Bret should take some lessons from the Outsiders because they took WCW to where it is today. That joke easily writes itself. They want a match against Bret and Goldberg tonight and Bret says of course, but Jarrett sneaks in and blasts Bret with the guitar. Like any good heel, he leaves with the belt.
Curt Hennig is in the back and says he can’t wrestle, but he can say goodbye to everyone. He turns around and sees the Maestro playing the piano. Nothing else happens, and Maestro will be playing there all night long. Why? Because that’s what Maestro does I suppose.
Konnan tells Kidman to stop worrying about his missing camera.
Tony Marinara is with the Mamalukes, better known as Big Vito and Johnny the Bull. Vito wants a cheese sandwich, and he says it so convincingly that I want to buy him a sandwich. They plan on putting a horse’s head in someone’s bed, then realize they don’t know whose bed it is. Marinara threatens to call his father the Don and reminds them that it’s Disco.
Luger is with the Powers That Be and tells them that he can book Liz in matches due to owning her contract. They agree, so tonight it’s Liz vs. Meng. I do enjoy them pretending that this is going to be a match instead of an angle.
Liz is horrified. Me too. What a stupid story.
Tag Team Titles: Konnan/Kidman vs. Creative Control
Whoa! A match! The twins are challenging. Kidman gets launched into the air for two to start before the other twin plants him with a slam. Gerald gets dropkicked down though and the hot tag brings in Konnan to clean house. We cut to the screen to show Eddie and Torrie in the locker room talking. Kidman freaks out and runs to the back, even though they were just casually talking. The monsters don’t really need the help though as a spinning belly to back suplex gives them the titles.
Rating: D-. Well so much for the Filthy Animals, as they’ve gone from Russo’s favorite toy to seemingly about to split in the span of about a month. I can’t say I’m complaining though as they were one of the most annoying acts I’ve ever seen. The wrestling was fine but my goodness their talking got old fast.
Kidman goes after Eddie, but Heenan points out the correct observation: they were just talking and laughing a bit. Nothing implied that something was going on.
Goldberg and Hart aren’t sure how to deal with the Outsiders and Jarrett in the same night. Goldberg says he’ll fight the Outsiders on his own and Bret can go after Jarrett. It won’t necessarily be a handicap match either.
Skye can’t talk Spice out of fighting Tygress tonight.
With the piano music still playing, Hennig and Buff agree that there are no hard feelings about the whole forcing Curt into retirement thing.
Here’s Hardcore Champion Norman Smiley. He’s the REAL hardcore man around here. When you look up the definition of hardcore in the dictionary, you see his tough mug. This morning, he drank a glass of milk that was TWO DAYS PAST EXPIRATION! It’s open challenge time and here’s Fit Finlay to scare the milk out of Norman. He kicks Smiley low and puts on his football helmet for a headbutt. The Regal Roll leaves Smiley laying despite being the funniest guy in the company in a long time.
The announcers recap the show thus far.
Liz can’t talk Luger out of putting her in this match. Maestro is still playing and has barely been acknowledged all night.
Hall thinks he’s figured out Goldberg’s plan. He can’t confirm it, but it might involve spears and Jackhammers.
Chavo Guerrero is selling the Mamalukes some gold chains when Disco comes in, freaks out, and leaves.
Tenay tells Jarrett that he has a match with Bret coming up tonight so Jarrett throws him out. Well, he’s got the jerk role down.
Evan Karagias vs. Saturn
Non-title. Evan stops to kiss Madusa at the start and gets suplexed out of his shoes for his efforts. The Death Valley Driver is countered into a sunset flip for two as we have a hippie coming over to commentary. It’s Brad Armstrong in yet another new gimmick called Buzzkill (Heenan: “How do you do Mr. Kill?”) because he needs a personality. Saturn throws Evan again and puts on the Rings of Saturn for the quick win. Some champion.
Kidman yells about Eddie going beyond Filthy Animal business and wants a match with him later tonight. That could be good.
Eddie reads off a cue card (some of the most obvious I’ve ever seen) about Kidman not understanding what’s going on and proving it in the ring tonight.
Vampiro vs. The Wall
Ferrara and Williams come out for commentary. Well one of them anyway. Vampiro slugs away to start and knocks Wall to the floor but the big man kicks him in the ribs to take over. You can imagine what Ferrara is talking about. The Misfits help their buddy out but Wall shrugs it off and beats on Vampiro inside. Vampiro’s kicks put him down but Berlyn comes in with a chair for the DQ.
Wall isn’t pleased and the Germans come to blows, breaking up the long standing partnership after all of two months. After they leave, Williams beats up the Misfits but eats a spinning kick to the face from Vampiro.
Liz jumps inside a shark cage because they just have one around.
A limo arrives.
WCW World Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Bret Hart
Jeff is wearing the title after stealing it earlier in the night. Of course this main events the first hour instead of the entire show. Bret slugs away to start and takes Jeff into the corner for right hands and a boot choke. Outside now with Jeff going into the barricade before they head inside where Bret gets crotched on the top rope. Back to the floor again as they can’t make up their mind. Jeff slams him head first onto the announcers’ table as this wrestling thing just doesn’t do it for either guy these days.
They get back inside for a sleeper on the champ but he suplexes his way out to put both guys down. The Five Moves get some near falls and Jeff gets the same off a middle rope clothesline. Jeff kicks him to the floor and Creative Control swarms Bret, drawing in Dustin Rhodes to clock Jarrett with the title. Bret didn’t see a thing and covers to retain.
Rating: D+. I really wasn’t feeling this one as they were all over the place out there and brawling instead of wrestling like these two could do in their sleep. But then again, why should either of them care at this point? Bret’s heart clearly isn’t in it and they’ve wasted him this long, so why should be believe it’s going to get any better?
The Mamalukes come up to the Maestro, who has the former Ryan Shamrock next to him, and ask for some Sinatra. Karaoke is performed in one of the only times all night that Maestro has been acknowledged.
Luger is trying to get Liz to come out of the cage. This girls in cages idea has to be some Russo fetish. She finally gives it up but Luger says the match is still on. Eh points for making him even more evil. On the other hand, points taken away for leaving her locked inside the cage and saying he’ll put it in the ring. After a break, Liz tries to get Sting to help her but he says to lay in the cage she’s made.
Kidman vs. Eddie Guerrero
Torrie is in a blue swimsuit top and matching blue pants with her hair tied back. You can imagine the reactions. Why she changed since we saw her with Eddie earlier isn’t clear. Konnan comes out with Eddie but Kidman dives over the top to take Eddie down before the bell. They head in for the first time with Eddie getting hammered in the corner. That goes as far as it can so Guerrero suplexes Kidman over the top and out to the floor in a big crash.
After a whip to the barricade, Eddie takes him back inside for some knees to the ribs. The camera keeps focusing on Torrie and throwing the announcers off. I can cut them some slack on this one. Kidman gets hit low trying a leapfrog and the match slows down quite a bit. The Revolution comes out to jump Konnan to pick things up and because that feud just won’t die. The distraction lets Kidman come back with right hands to Eddie, setting up the Shooting Star but Torrie asks him for help, allowing Eddie to superplex him down and nail the Frog Splash for the pin.
Rating: C. That wasn’t bad but I could go for anything but the Revolution vs. Filthy Animals going forward. Hopefully this leads to the Animals breaking up though as I can’t take much more of their stupid catchphrases and slang that makes no sense. Or the whole being thieves that I’m supposed to cheer.
Creative Control is asked which is Patrick and both point to the other. Quick one line jokes are Russo’s strong suit. Their next assignments are to find Duggan (“Big goof, one kidney”) and find out who is in the limo.
Skye asks Spice not to fight tonight but Spice has to do what a girl has to do.
Meng vs. Elizabeth
Liz, still in the shark cage, is brought in on a forklift. Meng of course attacks the cage but can’t break through. Luger offers him the key and gets put in the Tongan Death Grip as a result, drawing out Sting with the bat to lay out the monster. He unlocks Liz and they leave after a non-match. Or did Meng win by DQ?
Jim Duggan asks Maestro to play Chopsticks.
Lash Leroux vs. Disco Inferno
Disco is so scared of the mob guys that he doesn’t even dance and starts the match quickly. They trade hammerlocks and armdrags to start as Disco keeps looking over his shoulder. Cue the mob guys to scare Disco even more, but Johnny accidentally trips Lash, allowing Disco to take over. Disco stomps away but Lash pops back up with a sunset flip and Whiplash for the pin.
The mob comes in to stomp Disco, only to have Lash make the save. Marinara tries to come in but gets put to sleep and thrown into a white body bag.
Creative Control tries to see inside the limo to no avail. After a break, the twins say they have nothing to do with the limo’s car alarm going off. It should be their limo though since they’re the champs now.
The Powers yell at Duggan for messing up the bathroom last week, so Russo has been eating prunes all day. Duggan gets to clean the toilet with a toothbrush.
Tygress vs. Spice
Let’s get this over with. Spice is dressed as a schoolgirl and Tygress is in a leopard print body suit. Tygress easily takes her down and the fans are dead. Back up and Spice hits a kind of running tackle and we’re in catfight mode. A snapmare puts Tygress down and the announcers of course freak. Cue Skye (Stacy, in a leather skirt that might be nine inches long) with a makeup bag to knock Spice out.
Skye and Tygress put makeup on Spice. I can’t imagine this story continuing.
We go to the back to talk to…..MENG? As the Maestro keeps laying just because, Meng speaks (!), saying he wants Sting in a No DQ match tonight with Sting using the bat. So Meng is ok with someone hitting him in the head with a bat. Why would you EVER take him up on that? I know Sting is stupid but my goodness. Speaking of my goodness, MENG DOES NOT TALK. This is just a step below WWE ECW having Sabu speak. You just don’t do it.
Here’s Hennig for his big farewell. After a hug to Heenan, Curt can barely speak. He keeps trying but a PERFECT chant cuts him off and he leaves with tears in his eyes.
We see the limo again.
Duggan finds Russo’s toothbrush and cleans the toilet with it. You know this is coming back later.
Cue Roddy Piper of all people for the first time in about four months. He rips into writers, ranting about how they put in all these women and T&A and having a bunch of stupid entrances. This is actually exactly what you would expect him to say. The mic is quickly cut off, so Piper grabs a camera guy and takes him to the back to meet with the Powers That Be.
After kicking the door in, Piper is stunned to see Russo (well, despite them flat out saying it was Russo since he debuted, how could Piper know? Did he really expect there to be a body there instead of just an arm?) and tells the boss that he has a contract, guaranteeing that he appears on TV. Russo says Piper has a bad hip and is almost 50 so he needs to go join Ric and Hulk in Florida. Piper can be on TV though, but it’s going to be as a referee. Piper fumes about it, then walks to his limo saying “Yes sir” over and over. Somehow, this fits him perfectly.
Buff Bagwell vs. Booker T.
Booker gets taken down by a nice armdrag to start and it’s time to dance. They lock up and Creative Control is out before we can even get a minute into the match. Buff clotheslines him down and they head to the floor for….nothing. Ok then. Back in and Booker nails the kicks and the Spinarooni, only to have to nail one of the twins instead of covering. The distraction lets Buff nail a Blockbuster, but the other twin distracts the referee so the first can stomp Bagwell. Cue Hennig to talk to the twins….and then stomp Bagwell. One of the twins covers Buff and the bell rings because of whatever their reason is this week.
Rating: D. So Hennig spent weeks getting beaten up by whoever Russo threw at him and then joined them anyway. I’m so glad we’ve moved past that NWO era and are now getting the same thing from a yet to be named group led by the Powers That Be. Is there any team Hennig hasn’t joined since he’s been in WCW?
Midnight comes out for the save.
The Powers welcome Hennig to the team. If you can’t beat em, join em you see, even though he won several of the matches.
Liz offers to manage Sting against Meng tonight.
Asya vs. Madusa
This could be gloriously horrible. They’re already fighting on the floor before the bell finishes ringing. Asya drives her into the barricade but Madusa gets in some kicks to the ribs. Back in (assuming they were in there in the first place) with Madusa lifting her up in an electric chair before firing off even more kicks. Asya slams her off the top and puts on a leg choke for the submission while Saturn beats up Karagias on general principle.
Malenko doesn’t like seeing Canadians fighting for an American prize. Tonight he’s going to show Benoit how much he cares about Canada with a blowtorch. The anthem is changing from O Canada to BURN CANADA BURN. This is going to hurt isn’t it?
Chris Benoit vs. Dean Malenko
Double flag match, which is close enough to a pole match that I’m considering it one. Benoit pulls Dean’s hockey jersey over his face hockey style, setting up some knees to the ribs. The fans of course chant USA. I have no idea which flag they need to pull down and Heenan is too busy making hockey jokes. Benoit heads outside and grabs…..gasoline. Oh geez this isn’t ending well is it?
Malenko saves himself from being set on fire (just go with it) with a low blow but Benoit chops him in the corner. Is that like a Canadian defense mechanism or something? Benoit stops Dean from getting the Canadian flag and puts him in the Tree of Woe for a good looking baseball slide. He whips Malenko in but Dean drops to his knees to beg for mercy. Oh come on now. Thankfully Benoit dropkicks him in the face, only to be sent throat first into the bottom rope, allowing Malenko to get the Canadian flag for the win. Tony makes it even worse by saying you had to get your own flag but I really can’t bring myself to care.
Rating: D. This wasn’t much of a match but Benoit’s dropkicks looked good. It’s just so depressing watching Malenko have to put up with this nonsense which he clearly hates doing. At least it was fast though and it’s a sad day when you have to say that about a Malenko vs. Benoit match.
The Revolution comes in with a barrel and throw in the Canadian flag. That’s not enough though as they throw in the American one as well, but thankfully Bret runs in for the save. He hands Benoit the Canadian flag and waves the American one because why not. See, this is where the Revolution dies right in front of you. Russo seemed to think they were paramilitary or something similar so that’s what we’re getting: people who hate Canada and the US as well. I’m not sure how we got here from guys tired of the older generation hogging the main event and honestly, I’m not sure I want to know because it might scare me.
The Powers call Juventud Guerrera into their office to ask about an expired work visa. Juvy offers the Powers some tequila and Russo spits it out. He’d like his toothbrush please (you knew it was coming), despite clearly just being an arm with a voicebox attached.
Meng vs. Sting
No DQ and Sting is in a t-shirt again. Meng goes right after him to start, possibly worried that the poly/cotton blend might chafe Sting’s toned chest. Liz comes out to watch as Sting finally gets out of the jacket, revealing leather pants. Huh? Sting avoids an elbow but turns down Liz’s offer of the mace can. The Stinger Splash has Meng in trouble but here’s Luger. Sting grabs him, possibly to ask for hair tips, setting up the Tongan Death Grip to give Meng the win, which I’m sure is totally leading somewhere right?
Liz checks on Sting post match.
Nash shouts for someone to come on….but Hall is in the other direction. I don’t see this ending well.
Goldberg asks his partner if he’s ready.
David Flair FINALLY breaks up Maestro’s piano with the crowbar, probably turning into one of the biggest faces in the promotion as a result. Well assuming the fans can actually see these segments.
Outsiders vs. Goldberg/???
Nash gets to wear the TV Title, which you would think is way beneath him. Somehow this is the first time Tony explains that Hall is the US and TV Champion. You would think that would have been brought up earlier in the night, but we had piano issues to discuss. Now the stupid/shocking move here would be to go with Sid as Goldberg’s partner in an act of respect for all the hard fou…..oh of course it’s Sid so I’m not even bothering with the sarcasm here. They’re acting like best friends now of course and don’t have the slightest bit of animosity.
Hall and Goldberg get things going but Scott throws the toothpick at Sid to draw him in. The referee actually does his job for once and it’s off to Sid. Hall is casually shoved across the ring and Sid does it again for good measure. Tony tries to pass this off as a big respect thing but it’s just not working.
The Outsiders have to fight out of a double chokeslam attempt and it’s off to Nash for some big right hands. A running boot to the face drops Nash though and it’s time for the Starrcade rematch. Nash gets put with a superkick and I can’t believe this has held together so long. Some good old fashioned cheating gives the Outsiders a breather but Goldberg just plants Scott with a powerslam. Another cheap shot slows Goldberg down so Sid hits one of his own (with the bandaged arm) on Hall to even things out.
Nash comes in for the standard corner offensive package and it’s back to Hall for a front facelock. Old school missed tag to Sid gets us nowhere so Goldberg clotheslines both Outsiders at the same time. Sid comes in to clean house and chokeslams Hall, followed by a big spear. The powerbomb connects but Nash sneaks in while the referee is with Goldberg and drops an elbow (just a regular elbow) on Sid to give Hall the fluke pin.
Rating: D+. This was……shockingly watchable actually. The cheating end was as tame an ending to a Russo main event as there has been yet and this was a really by the book, standard tag formula power match. I mean, it wasn’t anything good but for a TV main event in this era to actually be calm and follow the rules is stunning.
Goldberg and Nash fight until security pulls them apart to end the show.
Overall Rating: D. It’s a slightly better show this week with a few less things to get annoyed at, but the Maestro thing got annoying in a hurry. I’m still trying to get over that main event though as it was a totally calm and rational match without a bunch of insanity throughout. It’s nice that they’re focusing on Starrcade already but the stuff in the middle is going to hurt them in the long run. I mean, do we need to see the Revolution trying to burn flags or the Hennig nonsense? It’s also annoying that Luger and Sting have one of the most logical stories on the roster while everyone else is a mess. Fix that and the show will improve.
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was this the highest Norman Smiley could have gone? dude was hilarious
In a well run company, he could have been a solid TV Champion.
Norman Smiley in the Radicalz would have been something